LINCOLN – Last Saturday, 275 people gathered at Lincoln High School to hear 17-year-old Jake Kambo and his 12 piece orchestra perform.
“It was smooth sailing, everything went off without a hitch, and everything was perfect,” Kambo said. An LHS senior, he says the concert fulfilled a lifelong dream when he and his orchestra performed publicly for the very first time.
The concert lasted around 90 minutes, with Kambo and the orchestra performing 14 songs. Originally, there were only 13 songs on the setlist, but Kambo said that at the last minute, he and his orchestra started playing “It’s Beginning to Look a lot like Christmas” just to have some fun as they closed out the show.
“I tried to make it so the setlist catered to all ages, so I think everyone liked every song,” he said. “Even though some of my student section didn’t know a few of the older songs, I think they still really enjoyed each one.”
Kambo’s favorite song of the evening was also one of the final songs of the evening – “The Curtain Falls,” originally sung by Bobby Darin.
Proceeds from the concert went to the LHS class of 2024 fund, and Kambo said both the student and public turnout was great. He said that there was a balance of the LHS community and the Lincoln community, just as he had hoped, and that it “meant the world” to him that people spent their money and took time out of their busy lives to listen to him.
“When the curtain opened and I saw the crowd with all eyes on me, that feeling was unbelievable,” Kambo said.
As a singer who largely does private events and restaurant performances, Kambo said being the main focus instead of the background music made him feel elated, and like a “true, professional entertainer.”
Aside from the actual performance, Kambo told The Breeze his favorite part of the concert was the audience feedback after.
“Someone came up to me and thanked me, and said I helped them forget about their problems for an hour and a half,” Kambo said. “Another gentleman told me that no one was on their phones the entire show because everyone was just in the moment, and that the performance was magical and awesome. Stuff like that was very nice to hear.”
Kambo said that in the future, he wants to do more public performances with his orchestra, and is hoping to do a Christmas concert next year, but until then, his performance schedule is posted on his website, jakekambo.com.
“I’m just grateful for everyone’s support,” he said, “because without an audience, there wouldn’t be a show, and that just means so much to me, so to anyone who’s come out to see me, thank you.”